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I am the solitary
traveler in a Southern
Sung handscroll
unrolling before me
this sepia-
toned morning,
as I wind my way
down through rising
rockwall shadow
and vertiginous
rift, past the lone
pine over-
hanging the gorge
and the herd of big-
horned sheep
leaping impossibly
up the opposite
cliff--to the banks
of the amber-green
Rio Pueblo.
Or is it the River Xiao?
This autumn hand-scroll
is not a painting
to hang on a wall
for guests to admire,
but an intimate
journey to keep
tightly rolled,
and swathed in the silk
of dreams, revisit
from time to time,
and, perhaps,
after unscrolling
its final scene,
add a few lines
in the space
the artist has left you.
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Author:Ryan, Joan Roberta
Publication:Atlanta Review
Article Type:Poem
Date:Sep 22, 2019
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